Supermarket giant Morrisons pledges to create 6,000 jobs

Supermarket giant Morrisons has announced plans to create 6,000 new jobs this year.

The Bradford-based group said 40 per cent of the new recruits will be the previously unemployed.

The news came ahead of today's jobs summit between Prime Minister David Cameron and leading UK employers.

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Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips will join retail chiefs Justin King of Sainsbury's, Stephen Murphy of Virgin Group, Charlie Mayfield of the John Lewis Partnership and Robert Swannell of Marks & Spencer at the Downing Street meeting.

Mr Philips said yesterday that 5,700 new jobs will be created as a result of the company's store opening programme.

An additional 300 jobs will be created through the expansion of Morrisons' food manufacturing business, he added.

Mr Philips said: "There are still many parts of the country where we are under-represented. So an important part of our business plan is to provide Morrisons' food for more communities across Britain.

"Because of Morrisons expanding business we are in a position to recruit more people and invest in developing their skills, training them to be qualified butchers, bakers and fishmongers as well."

The company also plans to open a new regional distribution centre in Bridgwater, which will employ more than 1,000 workers when it opens in early 2012.

Morrisons prides itself on its food production business, which supplies the group with more than 50 per cent of its fresh food.

This gives it greater control of its supply chain. The grocer also reckons to have more in-store butchers, bakers and fishmongers than its competitors.

Morrisons operates the largest accredited training programme in the UK and will train 100,000 workers by the end of 2011.